Kim Ryley, chief executive of Shropshire Council, has left the authority for a three-month secondment to Cheshire East.
Mr Ryley will take up his post at Cheshire East on 13 August, on a contract that runs until the end of November.
He told LGC he had decided to do the secondment after carrying out a peer review of the neighbouring council, which recently parted company with chief executive Erika Wenzel.
My Ryley said it was not yet clear what would happen at the end of his term at Cheshire East because he would be looking at ways the authorities could work more closely together. Asked whether this could result in a joint chief executive, he said it was one option to be considered but added that it would be a difficult role because of the size of the two authorities.
Mr Ryley is due to retire next year, but said it would not be clear when this would happen until the future plans for the management of the two authorities had been decided.
He said he might return as Shropshire’s chief executive, but this also depended on decisions about the future running of the authorities.
“Nothing has been fixed yet, beyond November,” he said. “We will see what arrangements suit us best.”
It is not yet clear whether Shropshire will replace Mr Ryley for the three-month period.
Mr Ryley told LGC: “During the peer review it emerged that there were lots of changes that could be started quickly at Cheshire East. There is a lot to work with that is very positive. I’m moving there because I want to keep that momentum.”
He said he would “explore shared learning, shared services and shared expertise” during the secondment.